Volume 5 · Number 1 · Pages 1-18
Towards a Cybernetic-Constructivist Understanding of Painting

Frank Galuszka

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Problem: This paper argues for the inclusion of a cybernetic-constructivist approach to the art of painting and for an understanding of principles that coincide with constructivism that operate within the creation of paintings and other works of art. It argues that an understanding of cybernetic-constructivist principles improves creative practice rather than merely analyzes outcomes. Method: Written from the point of view of a longtime practitioner rather than from the point of view of an academic proponent of art theory or art history, the paper draws on insights of second-order cyberneticians whose principles help to understand what a painting is and to determine its status as an object among objects which communicates itself simultaneously as not-an-object. These principles form an outlook as they become enfolded in sensibility, and through this outlook, the problem of being a painter can be addressed, the range of invention can be apprehended and broadened, and creativity can be mindfully activated. It addresses how painting and explained and how painting can co-create meaning with a viewer. Results: It is proposed that inquiry into painting may be of value in teaching us more about constructivism, as paintings provide stable, manifest and accessible physical outcomes of constructivist praxis, and that an application of cybernetic and constructivist principles to painting can advance the understanding of painting. Implications: Understandings of painting as well as other art forms can be better understood through including a broad cybernetic perspective in examining painting as a process and as a medium through which conversation takes place between observers, These understandings may have value in improving creative effectiveness among viewers and producers of art works. These understandings may have value for practitioners of other creative enterprises, and have potential to expand understandings in art history and art theory by emancipating it from being in service as a cultural emblem.

Key words: Mannerism, impressionism, photorealism, plein air painting, style, sensibility, hallucination, Parmigianino, Raphael, Salvador Dali, Pierre Bonnard, Humberto Maturana, Gordon Pask, Giorgio Vasari, Jackson Pollock


Galuszka F. (2009) Towards a cybernetic-constructivist understanding of painting. Constructivist Foundations 5(1): 1-18. http://constructivist.info/5/1/001

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